* 38 Yrs.-Coopworth Sheep!                    WOOL          20+ Yrs.-Highland Coos!           

...........from Our Sheep to Ewe!       WALKABOUT



Three years now of allowing the farm to 'return to nature'
and to embrace being a native habitat for all beings-- 
our 'wild' plant and animal life is flourishing...
Weeds are not weeds if they are not perceived as such.
If ever I needed to understand this, today I understand--the thistles at the barn I had not weed whacked as planned, as done in years past, their sight a bit unwieldy, a scourge upon the landscape, their presence today I find a lesson in "wilding", Mother Nature seeing to it that the Monarch Butterflies on their way south, lacking the nectar of the 'wild' milkweeds of early summer, would have food to nourish them on their flight south--our unsightly thistle patch at the edge of the front barn corral fresh with late fall pink blossoms and nectar rich, giving way to not only nourish the Monarchs passing through, but scores of other butterflies, honey bees, and native insects...I will never again feel the need to whack every thistle, every weed that flowers late and calls out to those wee sentient beings in their journey not unlike our own to simply live, grow, and fulfill their destiny, wherever that takes them, however we view their and our own lives while here on the Earth.  Be not so quick to judge 'pretty and not-so-re=pretty'!  

Predators are not predators

unless we take from them their native food supply--
and do not protect our livestock  
which they perceive as food!   

'WILD' areas must be designated...
to revert
 to whatever 
our species-endangered world
WILL nourish and feed!  


This photo, looking north over the Lost River Valley, was taken February 24, 2019 on WALKABOUT overlooking our farm from the top of the hill pasture above our house to the south.  I didn't realize there was a rainbow in the sky until I uploaded the photo to the computer.  You can just barely see Coopworth Sheep (little white dots) grazing above the barn (in the center of the photograph) at the edge of the trees and woods.


Our ~200 acres lie at the base of 'Bald Knob'.  There is a large 'bald' grassy area that is maintained and used for haymaking resting at the peak  of West Mountain.  This mountain is a part of the Lost River watershed.  It lies on the 'Divide' in the easternmost part of Hardy County, West Virginia 4 miles south of Mathias. We have lived here 39+ years. In fact, we have NOW lived here longer than any one family since the 1850's when deeds were recorded and maintained by the county.  The farm elevation is 2200 ft.  West Mountain's elevation is either 2615 or 2715 ft., depending on which map you use for reference.  It snows most years--sometimes less, sometimes more (...this year far less than most years in the past)! Climate change, geologic cycling, and/or global warming--whatever the causes--are delaying the winter's freeze and lessening the snow fall with each year.  Fortunately, the summers remain relatively mild, with daytime temperatures in the 80's-low 90's; and comfortable nighttime temperatures in the 60's-low 70's. 


Our 25 sheep and 3 cattle graze 50+ acres only.  The remaining open and woodland acreage is managed as wildlife habit; we gather just enough firewood from the 'dead and down' trees for our own use. Deer, squirrel, red fox and various song and predator birds thrive here. Coyotes do, as well, but are held at bay (not overtly permitted access to our livestock) by the 'Don't Even Think About It' attitude of our ANATOLIAN Sheep Dogs, "Sissy", "Annie", and little "Mikey"!   Our Farm Shepherd, "Woodrow", passed away this spring; He was 16 years and 2 months old.  I do believe he's still looking over our shoulder and helping to guide our newest pup, "Mikey", to take on the role of BossDog and Guardian of the Wild 'n' Woollies One 'n' All! 


We have not made hay on the farm for many years.  Our shale ground is simply too poor to provide good quality hay for winter feeding.  And there is no crop land.  We purchase large round bales of orchard grass hay for our few remaining 'Highlands', the one horse, 'Dog', and her companion donkey, 'Eoyore'.  We buy alfalfa hay from the same farmer in nearby Broadway, Virginia, to feed our Coopworth sheep during the winter months.  (The horse and donkey are thrilled to get the stems and leftovers!)  


Click on any given photo to enlarge and view it properly....Enjoy!
The little Grey Tree Frog, "Woodrow", has taken up residence on the porch and has occasionally come into the hallway to rest for the day.  He seems to think he is either dog or human in his relationship with us and 'the pack'.  We welcome him - and our resident sparrow, "Jack Sparrow", who finds spending the nights curled inside our wrought iron candle holder on the porch most appealing.  Yes, this is a
"wild 'n' woolly wildlife habitat"! 


 ***And I highly suggest reading "WILDING" by Isabella Tree..."returning Nature to our Farm"--part conservation, part memoir...about the capability of our Mother Nature to reclaim/rebalance the land...when people step out of the way.